NBA Draft day festivities

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I just wanted to check in and make sure everyone knows we are going to be liveblogging during the draft this evening. Will the San Antonio Spurs trade to move up in the draft? Will they pick an obscure foreign player that I can provide no meaningful analysis of because I’ve only seen him play in a handful of grainy YouTube videos? Will the league have another collective lapse of judgment and allow one of the top five talents in the draft to fall to the Spurs?

I have no idea. Who ever does with this team? But Tim and Jesse will be here throughout the evening to give you all the off-the-cuff insight and sartorial critiques that we’ve come to love and expect on this ritual night of passage.

Meanwhile, I will be at Madison Square Garden to document the pageantry and acne of it all first hand. Plus I’ve always wanted to get to the bottom of what really happened on that infamous night in 1985? I’ll figure that out in-between the Spurs’ picks and get back to you.

We’ll also be stopping by the Daily Dime live chat and Hardwood Paroxysm’s annual liveblog throughout the evening. It’s good old NBA Draft day block party, and everyone’s invited. BYOB.

  • DieHardSpur

    I hope, that whatever we do, we hold onto our core.

    We are one big man and t role players short of contending for a title. If we send Tony away it is a sure sign that the Spurs braintrust doesnt think we have enough in the tank to get a ring right now.

    That will truly be disheartening to the San Antonio fans – as we have consistently been in the hunt for the last 13 years…

  • DieHardSpur

    t = two***

  • Francesco

    BUILDING A TEAM DRAFTING TRUE FRANCHISE PLAYERS

    First of all and in my humble opinion, what is a TRUE FRANCHISE PLAYER?
    He is a perennial mvp candidate, somone who has won titles, and in those years he was the best player on the team. He’s the player the whole team was built around.

    I made a little research of my own: in the past 30 or so years, where have TRUE FRANCHISE PLAYERS been selected?

    I compiled this list from drafts held in years ’78 to ’07: for players like Derrick Rose, Tyreke Evans or anyone else in their classes with only one or two years of experience it’s too soon to give even a possible verdict. I may have forgotten someone.

    Between brackets the position they were drafted at:

    TRUE FRANCHISE PLAYERS
    Bird (6)
    Magic (1)
    Isiah Thomas (2)
    Olajuwon (1)
    Jordan (3)
    Shaq (1)
    Kobe (13)
    Duncan (1)

    BORDERLINE
    Robinson (1)
    Garnett (5)
    Lebron (1)
    Wade (5)

    CLOSE TO
    Drexler (14)
    Barkley (5)
    Malone (13)
    Ewing (1)
    Stockton (16)
    Jason Kidd (2)
    Iverson (1)
    Nowitsky (9)

    POSSIBLE ONES but MAJOR INJURY
    Len Bias (2)
    Danny Manning (1)
    Zo Mourning (2)
    Grant Hill (3)
    Jay Williams (2)

    POSSIBLE ONES but STILL TOO YOUNG
    Dwight Howard (1)
    Deron Williams (3)
    Chris Paul (4)
    Brandon Roy (6)
    Greg Oden (1)
    Durant (2)

    So, a cursory look will tell you that most franchise players are selected very high.
    But let’s analyze those who didn’t crack the top three:

    Bird (6): was chosen by Boston despite them knowing they’d have to wait an year to have him: other teams passed on him because of that.

    Drexler (14), Malone (13), Stockton (16): I’m not old enough to remember what may have affected their draft stock.

    Barkley (5): selected after 2 true franchise players and 2 busted picks.

    Garnett (5) & Kobe (13): they came into the league straight from high school: had they played one year in college (like kids have to do now) they’d never gone so low.

    Wade (5): came in what was possibly the best draft ever.

    Nowitsky (9): that was years ago: with the scouting FIBA players receive today he’d have been picked higher.

    Paul (4) and Roy (6): nothing to say here beside that those geniouses in Atlanta passed them both in consecutive years.

    So, it’s a fact that franchise players don’t go any lower than the 5th pick, and are mostly to be found in the first 3.

    Now, in the last 25 years, how many teams made it to the finals without one of the players listed above?
    4. That’s 4 out of 50.

    And, in the same span, how many teams won a title without a TRUE FRANCHISE PLAYER?
    3. That’s 3 out of 25 championship teams.

    Finally, how many of all the players listed above have changed club in their prime?
    Only 5, and out of them the only TRUE FRANCHISE PLAYER was Shaq (and he was already 32).

    So, when thinking rebuilding teams know that:
    - you don’t get to the finals without an above average all star player.
    - you don’t win the title without a true franchise player.
    - these players are rarely if ever on the market, so you have to draft them.
    - these players get normally selected within the first 3 picks, and rarely fall past the 5th.

  • DieHardSpur

    Interesting information Francesco…

    Please dont tell me that you think trading Tony in hopes of landing a franchise player is a good decision…?

  • Francesco

    @DieHardSpur

    No, not this year.

    The way I see it, the Spurs’ front office has to balance these 4 situations:

    1 – they would like to contend for the title as long as Duncan can play a major role.

    2 – yet at the same time they realize the end for Duncan and Ginobili is near, and so there is a need to start rebuilding.

    3 – since Parker’s contract is up at the end of next season, they are afraid to lose him while getting nothing in return.

    4 – next summer and the CBA dispute could bring about a new set of rules and possibly a lockout, both of which considerably complicate the capacity to manouver around the cap.

    All the above points are inextricably linked, and there is no way you can move in a certain direction or take a certain decision without affecting the other outcomes.

    Our front office by now will have considered why we lost to the Suns and why we could never have competed with the Lakers. They will have reached a consensus about what changes are needed in order to be able to compete for the title.

    While we all have our opinions about what those needs are (some suggest more perimeter defence, some more 3-point shooting, some more playmaking), it seems we all agree that we need a big who can defend both the rim and the P&R while not being a liability on offence.
    Incredibly enough Splitter seems to be just that guy, and the good part is that we don’t need to give anything away to have him.
    However, if he doesn’t, we will be forced to trade for that player, because there just isn’t one in free agency.

    For this reason I make my first statement:
    IF SPLITTER COMES OVER WE CAN AND SHOULD TRY TO COMPETE FOR THE TITLE;
    IF HE DOESN’T COME OUR CHANCES REMAIN MINIMAL AT BEST AND WE SHOULD THEREFORE START REBUILDING FOR THE FUTURE.

    Rebuilding in the NBA can be done in different ways and at different speeds, but since we are talking Spurs here, we should be clear about one fact: our best chance is via the draft.
    - San Antonio is a small market and star players who happen to be free agents are not really attracted to it.
    - None of our BIG 3 alone can be swapped for a young star, and trading 2 of them in the same deal is unlikely at best, and that’s not even considering we would probably never trade away Duncan or Manu
    - We happen to be good at drafting.

    So if we decide to rebuild without tanking a season, our best shot is trading Parker and one other between Hill and Blair (+ maybe our own 20th pick), for as high a pick as we can get.

    That said, as previously discussed here, trading Parker for picks isn’t easy both because none of the teams with high draft picks really needs a point guard and because Parker likely would accept only a few selected destinations, who again either don’t need him or have nothing to offer in return.

    This brings me to my second statement, which is a solution to the point 3 and 4 of my argument:
    WE SHOULD PROPOSE TO PARKER A ONE YEAR EXTENSION ON TOP OF HIS EXISTING DEAL.
    I think it would work for both parties, because Parker would be covered throughout the (possible) lockout season without tieing his future long term, and we could avoid having to worry now about losing Parker and the new CBA.
    Also, other teams’ situations will have changed in the meantime, and there could be more trading scenarios by then.

  • lvmainman

    Spurs front office made a mistake last year during the season not trading for Stephen Jackson!! Bonner and Mason, 2 3pt shooters with expiring contracts to the Warriors would have sold the deal! Warriors got Radmanvich (1 yr left) and Bell (an injured player with an expiring contract that was never going to play) instead.

    Jackson would’ve been an upgrade over Mason(plus he knew the system, no adjustment period needed like Jefferson!) and the front office was hoping to get Splitter to take Bonner’s place for this year.

    Imagine this team for 2010-11 if they had:

    Bigs – Duncan, Splitter, Blair, McDyess

    Wings/Guards – Parker, Ginobili, Jackson, Jefferson, Hill, #20 draft pick

    Talk about a championship caliber contending team!!

    Letting that opportunity slip by has dampened my faith in the front office’s ability to get the pieces needed to win a championship.

  • jk31007

    I dont think we should trade TP…..
    but, I would be willing to trade with IND for only this: TP for Hibbert, TJ Ford, and the #10.

    Our lineup would look like this:
    PG – Hill/Ford/Temple or Jerrells
    SG – Manu/Hairston/Paul George (#10)
    SF – Jefferson/Gee/Paul George (#10)
    PF – Spliter/McDyess/Blair
    C – Duncan/Hibbert/Mahinmi

    Plus we would still have the #20 pick to add.

    Jefferson, Ford, and McDyess would become great trade chips for futher tooling this summer or during the season for our roster, and help set us up for the future!

  • thor

    Francesco -

    Isiah Thomas?

    No Malone, Barkley, Ewing, Stockton, Nowitzki.

    Isiah is below all of these guys except Nowitzki and that is pending

  • jk31007

    @lvmainman

    I agree… we need to be proactive as to not let chances to improve the team as a whole slip away!

  • Jim Henderson

    Francesco
    June 24th, 2010 at 10:28 am

    “So, when thinking rebuilding teams know that:
    - you don’t get to the finals without an above average all star player.
    - you don’t win the title without a true franchise player.
    - these players are rarely if ever on the market, so you have to draft them.
    - these players get normally selected within the first 3 picks, and rarely fall past the 5th.”

    Good analysis, and it does show the value of getting a “franchise” player. That said, actually drafting a “franchise player” out of the top five picks is about as slim as winning a championship without a “franchise player” (“And, in the same span, how many teams won a title without a TRUE FRANCHISE PLAYER? – 3. That’s 3 out of 25 championship teams” – which is 12%). For example, there’s about an 8% chance of drafting a “franchise” player if you don’t just happen to have the #1 pick, but have a shot at picking one of the 4 draft picks going 2-5 (17% overall if you include the number one pick – I did an extensive analysis of this on a previous post). Between a third and a half of all franchise players taken between 1-5 are #1 picks. So indeed, there’s no easy way to a get to a championship. Somehow getting the number ONE pick increases your odds to a meaningful extent. So the Spurs have been very lucky (two GREAT #1 picks), and used a bit of skill along the way. Clearly, a lot of it is luck, particularly when expecting to get there through the draft.

    jk31007
    June 24th, 2010 at 11:28 am

    Problem is, Indiana is not going to trade Hibbert, Ford, & the number 10 pick for Parker. Not gonna happen. Not without Parker agreeing to a hefty 4-year extension, which is highly unlikely.

  • Tyler

    @ lvmainman

    I know this has been pointed out in a few posts awhile ago, but I’ll repeat it: Stephen Jackson wasn’t available last summer. It was only after he demanded a trade that teams started making offers and by that time we already had RJ in the fold.

    It’s hard for me to see how you can fault the FO on that one.

  • Dr. Who

    @ Francesco
    I’d put together a similar list of the last 5 or 6 years drafts and All-Stars produced from the 1-10 top picks. The final analysis showed there’s more misses than hits. I don’t totally agree with your list since there is subjectivity to it (that’s what makes it fun though). There are a few guys like Aldridge that should be on the list but it’s all subjective. Plus The Jordan era is a really tough one because if Jordan was playing he was beating a team in the finals for 6 out of 8 years (shoulda been more-sorry Rockettes fans). There are teams out there that could have incredible history with multiple championships and thus thrusting individual players into a higher category if Jordan hadn’t been around. Ewing and his Knicks never had a shot at beating Jordan, Ewing (even though the most posterized superstar center ever) was a franchise player. You would think that only solidifies your point but we’ll get to Ewing later. Reggie Miller was also a borderline franchise guy (5 all-star appearances, all time NBA leader in 3 pointers made and was a deadly clutch shooter). If they actually had a few or even one ring we’d think of them differently. More on Reggie later… In the East it wasn’t going to happen Jordan had other plans. Some could argue Pippen should be on the list too. Others will say he was a product of MJ. Either way Pippen was still a #5 pick from Central Arkansas. Your list is great fun for conversation. Listing Len Bias as an “injury” made me chuckle at first until it hit me again what a loss that was for all of us as basketball fans. What could have been… I watched his college games and he was amazing. Bias playing with Bird, McHale et al that would have been something to see… but I digress (as I usually do). If your statement is that these players are usually in the top 3. I kinda agree with you but on the counter, stating that if you have a top 3 pick you end up with a franchise player is absolutely false. I realize you didnt’ state that, but I’m just trying to make a point.

    Again let’s look at the infamous Ewing draft of 1985. Whether or not the fix was in for New York who knows… but your theory of top 3 picks being franchise guys is on the money. Ewing was the number one pick. But… who were #2 and #3? Wayman Tisdale and Benoit Benjamin. Followed by Xavier McDaniel, Jon Koncak, Joe Kleine, Chris Mullin, Detlef Schrempf, Charles Oakley, Ed Pinckney. So the top 10 had some solid guys but if you wasted your #2,3,4,5,6 picks on those guys you’d be in some trouble. Note in that same draft Karl Malone was #13, Joe Dumars was #18, AC Green was 23 and Terry Porter closed out the first round at 24. The following year the top 5 were Brad Daugherty, Len Bias, Chris Washburn, Chuck Person and Kenny Walker . 5 Lottery picks and all duds… even thought I believe Person was a ROTY (i’d have to look it up to verify). The following year a good one to look at since our beloved David was the #1 pick. But who were the #2 and #3 picks? Armen Gilliam and Dennis Hopson. Who??? Yep followed by Reggie Williams, Scottie Pippen, Kenny Smith, Kevin Johnson, Olden Polynice, Derrick McKey and Horace Grant rounding out the top 10. Some solid players in the top 10 and solid busts too. Reggie Miller was drafter that year and Indiana fans were up in arms that they didn’t’ draft Mr Indiana Steve Alford at #11, they took Reggie instead.

    So I agree with some of what you said. But I am not sold on the idea of trading up in the draft and getting rid of known assets to venture into the unknown. It’s like going to Vegas and throwing a couple grrr on green 00 and hoping things work out in the draft. Having a top 10 or even 3 pick is still a gamble. The Celtics were able to form a very solid team that very well could have won a championship with a healthy Perkins in the lineup. This team was formed through free agency and some smart later round draft picks (notably the late jewel of a pick Rondo at 21, sound familiar?). Trading an asset like Parker for a crap shoot is dicey business (no pun intended). I think it’s a bit riskier than presented given the history of the draft. Lest we not forget what happened to last year’s wunderkind #1 draft pick Blake Griffin. Of course the book is still out after a year of injury but even with a top 3 pick it’s still very risky business to risk a star on a possible future star. In ’07 you could end up with Aldridge or Adam Morrison in ’05 you could end up with Deron William or Marvin Williams… all drafted in the top 3. Don’t get me wrong, I like the discussion … you can certainly tell it’s of the offseason. Keep on posting Francesco and we’ll keep on reading!

  • Dr. Who

    BTW… it may be possible that Jim and I were separated at birth. Looks like you stole some of my thunder. Gotta be quicker with my posts I guess.

  • Hobson13

    Quick trade idea: Parker for Monta Ellis plus the #6. Ellis can do 90% of Tony’s job plus he is locked down for the next few years. The #6 pick would likely be a good PF in the mold of Udoh or Monroe. It is possible, though unlikely, that Cousins falls to #6.

  • ThatdudeWoods

    I wouldn’t trade Parker unless we could get in the top 6. Do you really think the #10 pick could replace Parker? Another thing, we should forget about Splitter. I don’t really think he is that good. ith our 20th pick we should take a big and rely on the other role players to step it up.

  • Ian

    @lvmainman – Spurs could theoretically get Jackson, but in no way were they going to absorb his bloated contract. They had to re-sign Manu and will eventually have to do something about Tony’s contract too – Jackson’s contract would’ve killed much of the flexibility in doing any of those. In an ideal world the Spurs would just pay taxes and have Jackson on board, but we all know it’s not realistic for a small-market team like the Spurs. You should let that subject go.

  • Ian

    @Hobson13 – I hope you’re joking. That’ll be two undersized SGs at the PG spot and Ellis’ contract is just ridiculously bad. Even Maggette’s contract looks reasonable compared to Ellis’…

  • Hobson13

    Ian
    “June 24th, 2010 at 1:24 pm @Hobson13 – I hope you’re joking. That’ll be two undersized SGs at the PG spot and Ellis’ contract is just ridiculously bad. Even Maggette’s contract looks reasonable compared to Ellis’…”

    Just throwing it out there. Ellis’ contract is not great, but Maggette’s is worse. He’s 7 years older than Ellis! This would certainly take care of our PG delimma in case Parker bolts. Not a great trade, but an interesting one.

    I do think we are going to see some serious action tonight in the trade market. Don’t know if the Spurs are going to be involved, but it wouldn’t be surprised to see us active.

  • Jim Henderson

    Dr. Who
    June 24th, 2010 at 1:06 pm

    No, great post. I totally concur. I’ve actually posted some extensive analysis of this topic on the blog over the past month. While some of the top picks turn out to be good, or even great NBA players, the hype is too much, and the odds are still low. It’s interesting though, while there has been some notable “busts” at #1 over the years, the TOP pick does seem to provide a much better chance of obtaining a great player (about 17%), than drafting 2-5 (about 8%). And then of course you occasionally get those diamonds in the rough, with picks 6 through I guess about 30 or 40. I’d hate to calculate what those odds are!

    Hobson13
    June 24th, 2010 at 1:12 pm

    “Quick trade idea: Parker for Monta Ellis plus the #6. Ellis can do 90% of Tony’s job plus he is locked down for the next few years. The #6 pick would likely be a good PF in the mold of Udoh or Monroe. It is possible, though unlikely, that Cousins falls to #6.”

    Well, reasonable idea. Personally, I just don’t really like Ellis’ game that much, and we would miss having more of a point guard. TP is more of a point guard than Ellis or Hill. Plus, 11 mil. per year is a bit steep for 4 years. The #6 pick get’s you closer for me, but not enough to pull the trigger.

    “This would certainly take care of our PG delimma in case Parker bolts. Not a great trade, but an interesting one.”

    It really wouldn’t in my opinion.

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  • lvmainman

    @ Tyler,
    Stephen Jackson was available during the season and the Spurs sat on the sidelines. Bonner, Mason, and Finley were expiring contracts to be used to upgrade the team since we’re over the salary cap. Now they’ll leave for nothing and the Spurs are still over the cap, unable to sign any free agents. Jackson was the best player on the Warriors and now the Bobcats, could have been had for our 8th and 9th best players.

    @ Ian,
    Stephen Jackson’s contract is not bloated. It’s less than Iguodala, Rashard Lewis, Luol Deng, Jose Calderon, Hedo Turkoglu, Andrea Bargnini, Rip Hamilton, Danny Granger, or Gilbert Arenas. Stephen Jackson is as good if not a better player than those listed and could fit with the Spurs. Plus Jefferson and Parker could be jettisoned after this year for $28 mil off the cap.

    Guess what teams played for the NBA championship?

    The 2 highest payrolls in the NBA!!!

    To me, the Spurs front office has been too passive, not proactive in trying to get a championship caliber team. Stephen Jackson would have been a great fit for our 8th and 9th best players. Any time a deal like that is available the Spurs need to pounce. Meanwhile expiring contracts of Bonner, Mason, and Finley all were wasted instead of improving the team.

  • lvmainman

    The Spurs went all in last year knowing Duncan had a 3 yr window. Now it’s only 2 yrs and the Spurs are in limbo position. Good enough to get past the 1st round of the playoffs, but not good enough to contend for a championship.

  • http://www.48minutesofhell.com Lenneezz

    I’ve gotten acquainted with Craig Brackins today.

    He’s got a nice array of moves from the block. 6-10 and he’s also got a decent stroke from outside.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WZdelSuiYJk

    This clip is from 2008-09.

  • Trade Tp

    There arent any FRANCHISE players in this draft. None that we should just trade TP for…

    How about drafting James Anderson? I like the pick.

    Where is Hobson saying a steal? And no one knew who this guy was before POP clued them in….

    Good start, great pick at 20

  • Hobson13

    What up Tradetp! We all threw out a million draft possibilities and the Spurs picked someone else. Not a big surprise. However, I think Anderson could be interesting. He had the 12th highest PER in college. He’s a good shooter and has decent athleticism. One person (Chad Ford I think) likened him to James Harden. If he is a James Harden then we’ve really got something. I like Paul George and Xavier Henry, but they were going long before #20. I know many liked Damion James, but I’ve read several articles stating that James is a PF in a SF body. The article also contended that he was absolutely NOT a wing player. He wanted to be a PF. We don’t need any more undersized PFs. I don’t know how Anderson will work out, but it could be interesting.

  • Jim Henderson

    Anderson was on my radar all along. I just didn’t think he’d fall to #20, so I focused in on Pondexter, because I was pretty sure he was an under the radar pick, and would be there at #20. The smart Sam Presti & Co. snatched Pondexter up at #26, although I don’t see a lot of room for him there with Durant, Harden, & Sefolosha hogging minutes at the SG/SF spot. I’m sure they have their reasons. But I think we got a steal with Anderson at #20. If he can work at bit more on his handle & passing skills, and develop into a hard-nosed, pesky defender, he’s got a decent shot at starting on this team in the next couple years, at SF, or after Manu retires, at the SG.